MBW reported back in February that Warner Music Group (WMG) was set to acquire Poland’s oldest record label for €1.9m. The major has now confirmed that it has finalised the buyout.
Polskie Nagrania, which was founded in 1956, was previously owned by the Polish government, which offered the label up for auction in January of this year.
The Polskie Nagrania catalogue contains pop, rock, folk, classical, and jazz, with music from artists such as Anna German (pictured), Czesław Niemen, Marek Grechuta, Irena Santor, Zdzisława Sośnicka, Breakout, and SBB, as well as classical musicians like Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Wojciech Kilar, and conductors Antoni Wit and Jacek Kacprzyk.
Warner Music Poland will preserve the Polskie Nagrania brand and continue to release music from the label’s roster.
Following the digitisation of the entire catalogue, the label’s original master tapes will be returned to the Polish National Digital Archive for preservation.
Warner Music Poland includes the Pomaton imprint, which has a 25-year history of releasing Polish music, as well as Złota Kolekcja, which specializes in reissues and already works with numerous recordings from the Polskie Nagrania catalog.
Piotr Kabaj, President & General Manager, Warner Music Poland, said, “This acquisition represents a significant milestone for our business, and it will be an honor to represent such influential artists and revered music. We are committed to using our expertise and resources to ensure that the iconic Polskie Nagrania name continues to thrive, and that these legendary songs win new fans in Poland and beyond.”
Stu Bergen, President, International, Warner Recorded Music, said, “Our investment in the incredible music of Polskie Nagrania will bolster our already strong presence in this growing, culturally vibrant market.
“This is the latest in a series of moves to develop local repertoire in countries where new technology is connecting artists with massive audiences and unlocking new creative and commercial opportunities.”
The deal follows Warner Music Group’s other recent investments in emerging markets.
As part of its acquisition of Parlophone Label Group in July 2013, WMG welcomed EMI’s affiliates in key markets in Eastern Europe, including Poland. In April 2014, WMG acquired the renowned Gold Typhoon Group, one of the largest and most acclaimed collections of local music from China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
December 2013 saw the launch of Warner Music South Africa, following a buyout of Gallo Records’ share of the joint venture Warner Music Gallo Africa.
In June 2013, WMG announced the acquisition of Gala Records Group, Russia’s leading independent music company, and subsequently established Warner Music Russia.Music Business Worldwide